Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mailbox Peak 9.28.10

With an emotional week and a compressed time frame I was looking for something closer. I needed something efficient and with some elevation gain. Mailbox was the perfect fit for this day. I had hoped for some good weather so I could run the ridge to reach West Defiance (Dirtybox) which is on the Homecourt 100 and I haven't climbed as of yet. The weather was wet and very humid so I packed up some extra layers to ward off the wet. Since I was going to be on a popular trail I off loaded some extra weight that I usually carry. Even with the lower weight couldn't offset my heavy heart. It has been almost 8 years since I have done a trip with only one of my dogs. Last week's lost Beagle didn't turn up and since I had more than one report of him along side Hy 2, I finally resigned myself to the fact that I have lost my faithful partner. Since I had been keeping myself busy at work I hadn't really dealt with the loss. On Sunday before work I decided to look through years of pictures to make a folder commemorating a dog's fine life. This provided an emotional two days that took a lot out of me. Undaunted I pushed on.

     I started up the access road under dry skies and for the most part the rain stayed away. However a purposeful drizzle persisted for much of the day. I had heard of some improvements of the trail but outside of the new trailhead structure I didn't see many improvements. I had to laugh at the trailhead sign cautioning of the steep nature of the trail and topped off with the "respect your abilities " quote. Initially I felt strong, but since it was apparent I wouldn't be doing the traverse my motivation to top out on Mailbox proper waned. I really had to dig deep for motivation but managed to make my way to the summit, albeit substantially slower than previous efforts. Since the track was slippery and slow and I was carrying much more than other attempts I won't be too disappointed. Once on the summit I quickly switched to dry clothes and added a layer to thwart the blowing drizzle. After enjoying the views of the inside of a cloud I made my way back to the car. I took the descent slower than normal because of the slippery conditions. I passed a group of 4 teenagers not too far from the summit. I was very happy to see the next generation pushing their limits. I passed another 2 on the lower slopes. One of which was on his cell phone presumably calling to complain about the blasting that was heard throughout the day. I believe he was under the impression that someone was shooting close by. I let him know that more than likely it was the Fire Training Center doing some training. I stopped at the creek and had my lunch and took some time to reflect on the last week's events.

Approx 6 miles 4000' of climb 4:30 car to car


  1. Here's a link to my comment on nwhikers.


  2. Thank you so much for letting me know about the blasting that made me feel so much more comfortable. i was the kid on the trail that day on my cell phone. If it wasnt for you telling my buddy and me about that fire training we would have turned around in fear of getting shot. We pushed on though and made it to the peak

    this post has touched me sir to hear about your dog. I hope the best for you.


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